“Washington and politics are a lagging indicator of social change” ~Matt Kibbe
I’m done with political predictions. Trump took the crystal ball I thought I had and shattered it, so I’m finished with those predictions. With that albatross in the room shot dead, that doesn’t leave me with much to write about personally, but one thing has been rumbling around in my head…
Bernie Sanders made socialism sexy…
Seriously, so many upset “Bernie or bust” doops across the nation cried on live television during the DNC. His stupid policies and underhanded Marxist propaganda made socialism relevant. Yet this wasn’t a run of the mill phenomenon; Sanders’ ability to run a campaign in the Democratic primaries as an open socialist and be taken seriously was the product of more than a hundred years of Fabian strategy leading up to his moment where Bernie was able to fundamentally transform the Democratic Party.
This all leads me to where everything in the world went wrong, why have libertarians not been capable of making as deep of an impact as the creepy socialist? For years I followed the Saul Alinsky approach to social change (subtlety), from there I even worked as an open Libertarian (where my intentions were public), trying to pitch a tent in the subtle and loud camps of the Liberty movement. Watching the race play out now, here are three factors I consider in understanding where I may have gone wrong.
Ted Cruz has since day one of his time in the US Senate been a rabble rousing outsider. While Rand Paul was filibustering Eric Holder’s theoretical drone striking of a Starbucks, Cruz actually managed to push the establishment into shutting down the government for three weeks back in 2013. The strange thing about Rand vs. Ted is that while Rand was touted the liberty golden boy, Ted Cruz was there at his side, but when it came to even bigger things such as fighting internet censorship and several other hot button issues, it was in fact Cruz leading the charge. Ted Cruz even had the stones to stand on the senate floor and call out all the establishment leaders of the GOP in broad daylight and not even a year later stood on the RNC floor and refuse to endorse the nominee. To this day Cruz is perhaps the sharpest conservative in the government, and he wasn’t able to make as many dents in the Washington Cartel because he was out making friends.
John McAfee told people to run in the streets naked, that was something that I had to wrap my mind around for a while. Looking at his presidential campaign in retrospect however, I get the concept even more. In an interview with Reason Magazine McAfee stated to the reporter:
“I’m 70! You can do anything you want to waste time. I can’t. I’m doing this to change the country that I love as much as I love myself. So you can believe it. I don’t give a shit or not whether you believe it! It’s whether I live it. And I live it, I have lived it my entire life.”
From his rather peculiar campaign videos to other tactics used to gain attention, I realized that McAfee’s campaign’s rather eclectic methods succeeded in two things; gaining the apathetic citizen’s ear long enough to give them a second look, and force certain individuals to actually put in some bloody effort for the cause. The political influence of McAfee lives on with the Vote Different Initiative, who looked at the failure of the Libertarian Party National Committee’s tools and capabilities for candidates and said “sit down son, I’ll take it from here.” The Vote Different approach spotted the holes in many campaigns and immediately filled the void with contacts, support, and other logistical help. McAfee made people think and told them to do a gut check and act, and now they’re actually putting work in.
Alinsky’s mob tactics took Fabian strategy into the 20th century, but it wasn’t successful because he simple was able to influence the right number of people into obtaining public office and political power. Alinsky was able to use fear, paranoia, and tragedy to seize on the moment. It’s the same tactic the media and the elites use and it works every time. As Rahm Emmanuel once said, “never let a serious crisis go to waste.”
What is to be learned from this? Commitment…
For those that listen to my show where I continually talk about this, I already stated before I don’t have the answer for how to change hearts and minds down to a science, what I do know however is this; Alinsky spotted the battlefields of where political and social conflicts would take place, and men such as Ted Cruz and John McAfee were able to tell people to get off your rear, fight, and go down punching if need be.
Enough tough talk to friends and angry tweets, go actually do something that matters.
*Originally published at The Liberty Conservative, republished with permission of the author